|N.W. Indiana has first Japanese manufacturer|
date: 11/21/1987 Source: The Times
Article Title: N.W. Indiana has first Japanese manufacturer
By: Mylinda Perry, Times Business-Labor Writer
ROSS TOWNSHIP -
Northwest Indiana has secured its first Japanese manufacturer, which will begin production of mufflers here early next year.
Nakagawa Sangyo, expected to employ up to 100 people, will begin production a few months after November 30, when they take possession of a building they are purchasing in Ross Township.
News of the new company was released Friday by the Merrillville Chamber Advancement Foundation and the Northwest Indiana Forum. Both groups have been working with other area economic development groups to bring the firm to Northwest Indiana.
"This is a breakthrough for Northwest Indiana, something all of us have been working toward for a very long time," said Richard Griebel, president of the forum.
The Japanese company is buying the recently vacated building owned by Standard Liquors on Colorado Street south of U.S. 30, said James Allen, director of business and economic development for the foundation.
The sale of the property is expected to close November 30 said Jo Lasser, president of Commercial In-Sites, the Merrillville-based commercial real estate brokerage company handling the deal.
The Ross Township plant will be the first U.S. facility for the company that plans to manufacture and distribute its mufflers to domestic automakers, Allen said.
The plant will be managed by Scot Wick, a Munster resident, who has been Nakagawa's representative in the United States.
"As a Northwest Indiana resident," Wick said, "I am especially pleased to bring new jobs to the area."
The company made its decision to locate in Ross Township after considering other sites in Northwest Indiana; Columbus, Ohio and Lafayette, Indiana, Allen said.
Nakagawa eventually plans to expand the 31,0000-square-foot warehouse on the four acres it is purchasing with the building, Allen said. Standard Liquors moved its operation to Indianapolis more than a month ago, he said.
No government assistance was provided to the company, although Nakagawa will seek assistance from the Lake County Job Training Partnership Corp. for help in training workers, Allen said.
News of the new company was welcomed by Merrillville economic development officials, who said they want to diversify the local economy by increasing manufacturing in the community. Only 2.2 percent of Merrillville and Ross Township businesses are manufacturing-related, Allen said.
"We'd like to increase that to 15 or 20 percent," Allen said.
Several local groups assisted with bringing the Japanese company here including" the forum, the advancement foundation; Lake County Job Training Partnership Corp.; Northern Indiana Public Service Co.; Lake County Economic Development Authority; and the Lake County Community Development Council.
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